Retailers and commercial landlords alike are always looking to pounce on the next hot New York City neighborhood. Since the Financial District retail transformation is already well underway and with Hudson Yards on deck, where will we turn to next? The Wall Street Journal bets that it'll be the Garment District.
Following the debut of the Urban Outfitters lifestyle store here, several developers have been sprucing up their properties along the Broadway corridor that connects Times Square to Herald Square, where the city recently added a pedestrian plaza for lingering tourists. Retail rents in the area have also seem a bump, topping out at $150 per square foot two years ago but now running as high as $350.
"I've been working in this area for 30 years and in the past nine months [the retail change] is moving faster than I have seen" before, said real estate company president Bob Savitt of Savitt Partners.
WSJ contributes that to the changing workforce in the neighborhood—due to cheaper office rents compared to other parts of the city, young companies in the fields of tech, media, and advertising have moved to converted spaces here, and they've got money to burn.
"It's a perfect storm of events," Kenneth Hochhauser of Winick Realty Group told the paper. "There's a more educated workforce, a typically younger workforce and, in some ways, a more voracious workforce."
But what about what the Garment District was built on—garment manufacturing? Will that still have its place in this revitalized neighborhood? Nanette Lepore thinks so. "It won't ever be like it was in the 80s," she said "But there is still a strong manufacturing element here."
· New York Garment District's Fashionable Retail Trend [WSJ]
· Is This Crazy New Store the Future of Urban Outfitters? [Racked NY]
· What Makes the Garment District Work? Academics Investigate [Racked NY]